Scandal-Plagued IRS Building Massive National Database of Americans
As the IRS is engulfed in scandal following its admission that it targeted tea party and other conservative organizations, the agency is preparing to assume vast new powers over Americans. The agency is tasked with verifying that individuals and businesses are complying with ObamaCare. In preparation, the agency is creating the largest, most centralized national database on all Americans. Worse, the woman who oversaw the agency's targeting of conservative organizations will be in charge of this database.
ObamaCare rests mosts of the enforcement of the law on the IRS. It must ensure that individual Americans have health insurance. It must evaluate whether insurance coverage offered by employers meets federal guidelines. It will collect billions in new taxes and write the rules for subsidies and tax credits to provide insurance coverage. It is a task far outside the agency's skill-set and will require thousands of new agents.
To facilitate its implementation of ObamaCare, the IRS, in conjunction with HHS, is building a massive new database of Americans, drawing on records across federal and state governments. The WSJ reports:
Known as the Federal Data Services Hub, the project is taking the IRS's own records (for income and employment status) and centralizing them with information from Social Security (identity), Homeland Security (citizenship), Justice (criminal history), HHS (enrollment in entitlement programs and certain medical claims data) and state governments (residency).
The data hub will be used as the verification system for ObamaCare's complex subsidy formula. All insurers, self-insured businesses and government health programs must submit reports to the IRS about the individuals they cover, which the IRS will cross-check against tax returns.
This development alone would be concerning before news of IRS's political activism broke last Friday. More troubling, however, are reports that the woman in charge of the IRS division that targeted conservative organizations, Sarah Hall Ingram, in now in charge of implementing ObamaCare for the agency.
In other words, the woman who, at best, turned a blind's eye to IRS political involvement will have at her command the most centralized and comprehensive database of all Americans. This database is an unprecedented accumulation of information about Americans. Those able to access this information must be trusted not to use this information for anything other than its intent.
The growing IRS scandal suggests the agency is not worthy of this trust. We are forced to cede a lot of information to government on a regular basis. The implicit bargain is that this information will be used narrowly and only for specific purposes. The IRS broke that bargain.
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